I left the beach about thirty minutes after sunset and started my anticipated adventurous walk to my car in the dark. I considered turning on the flashlight, but really wanted to practice using my eyes and ears, and feeling my footing without much visual aid.
As I started walking by the railroad tracks (photo taken earlier in the day), I heard the crunch of footsteps stepping on the rocks behind me. I turned to see the man I had passed at the bus stop walking toward me.
Before he got any closer, I asked him what he wanted in a loud and firm voice. When he didn’t stop walking toward me like I expected, I put my hand inside my pocket where I had my weapon.
He got as close as two steps away from me and said, with a slight slur to his voice, that he was checking if I was okay, if I was intending to harm myself since I was walking by the railroad tracks.
He was easily at least six feet tall and had a solid frame. He walked with a slight hunch as if to not be as visible. His voiced concern could have been real, but considering the circumstances, I decided to side with caution.
I contemplated showing my weapon thinking it could prevent possible further aggression he may have been considering. I decided against it as he could have had one also and that could have unnecessarily escalated the situation. Besides, I didn’t want to lose my element of surprise in case I needed it.
As I calmly took two steps back looking at him square in his eyes and watching for any committed, sudden, aggressive movement, I replied in the same loud and firm voice that I was fine. He kept trying to talk to me more and I replied again in my loud and firm voice that I was fine and I didn’t care for company.
He finally started walking away saying he was just checking. Immediate danger seemingly going away, I then felt a smidge guilty, so I said thank you anyway and have a nice evening. Still in a loud and firm voice, but kind.
To which he replied, “Would you like to take a walk with me to Swami’s?”